So you know how Google listens to you and then you get ads or such of things that you talked about? We had the craziest occurrence yesterday.
During the whole lockdown my wife has been playing more games. And not her usual stuff, but proper games. She played the Tomb Raider games and she played the Batman games and she’s currently playing AC Origins. So we chatted about what she should play next and I recommended Witcher 3.
She said she doesn’t really want to play that because you hurt animals. (Something that happens in both AC Origins and the Tomb Raider games and she does not like that at all). So I told her that nah, it’s only monsters except for wolves. Oh and that there are some cows in the first village. But if you kill too many cows then a strong enemy attacks you. This was all in Afrikaans mind you.
In the evening she was lying in bed and opened Youtube on her phone and look what Youtube recommended to her:
yup I dont have this happen to me but it happened to two friends of mine. we talked about some random topics related to IT ( A field they stay far away from) next thing i get a message from them saying look here and boom add for the topic we talked about few days ago.
Im in two minds of this. One its cool because its focused advertising you wont need to look far to get what you interested in. On the other hand im pissed off because you never know whos devices is listening to you. You could be anything and the phone will know whats going on. I had a few reads any 1st thing pops up is companies denying they are listening. So who is doing it and what app or feature on the phone is allowing this to happen?
Something similar happened a couple of months ago. But Facebook seems in on it as well. I honestly don’t care for beauty or cleaning products at all and will never Google or read up on anything remotely related to it. The other day my wife was talking about Seba Med products. I spoke about how great it is for our son, as we’re using it for him. That evening I got Facebook ads for Seba Med products aimed at men…
Yup, happens all the time. We talk about subjects at work next thing we all have youtube suggestions on the topics. Once one person showed us a youtube video from his phone, next thing we all had that same youtube video suggested on our profiles.
I’ve also found that in Gmail if you search for a certain word or phrase it not only brings up the emails with that word in but often emails with attached documents that contain the word. I was pretty surprised that the snooping goes that deep.
I’ve heard it said that the most powerful AI in the world is dedicated to advertising. This is probably the tip of the iceberg. The concerning thing about targeted ads is that it preys on your impulsiveness. I know my wife is very susceptible to advertising - even the real life ads on signs. It’s so much easier to justify a purchase that was “just what I was wanting/feeling like”.
Thing is this is standard practice for your data - even voice to be collected. The regulation comes in with regard to what they can do with the data. Use it for their advertising is fine, sell it not so fine.
Yeah I tell people sometimes that with ads that say “Only R500, save R200” you aren’t saving R200, you’re losing R500. But also a sucker for marketing sometimes
Not really on the spying topic but kinda, I use google photos to back up all my pictures I take on my phone and Google catalogs all of it with their algorithms/AI. Dunno if anyone else does it, but if you go into your Google photos just search for something and it finds it.
It’s helped me find pictures a few times before that I just didn’t know where they were. Like I searched for ‘concert’ and I found that one lone photo of me posing with Kurt Darren
I find it amazing, then I think it’s scary, but then I think it’s amazing again
So with this happening more and more lol i want to do a test…
When i go to a braai or some event i will talk and randomly add odd words to the mix. Maybe even ask to have a look at the phone because im looking for a new one then say things that that person hates then they will have loads of adds of all the things they dont like.
Get a firewall like NetGuard if you use Android, and block/disable Google Play Services. Only enable it when it complains about something you need to work. And that is only if it doesn’t work. Sometimes it complains and the app still works fine, like Maps.
You can also get something like Pi-Hole to block ads/trackers
If you don’t have a Pi or linux distro running anywhere, you can run it in a docker container. I think it should run on Windows…
Lastly, you can run and/or support open source projects like LineageOS if your phones support it. There’s also the Librem 5 and PinePhone linux phones just coming out. Not daily driver material yet, from what I read, but the more people jumping on the train, the more likely the software will catch up, and the more people can give the middle finger to big tech/spy agencies.
That is creepy. Google and Facebook’s algorithms are incredibly smart and I’d love to see what your wife’s watch and search history were before this recommendation was made. But yeah… privacy and all that
Also: Big thumbs up for YouTube Premium. YouTube ads are the worst.
Even myself, I have noticed it a few times, more so on my google usage than voices - but then I never turn the assistant on and on my google profile I don’t use the personalized advert system. Specifically for this reason. I know something/someone is constantly monitoring what we do online, analyzing it and so forth, Its why I have such a small social media footprint, and why you can barely google me.
So I was talking to my brother about the horrible name they gave the hotel at the place I used to volunteer…
So my brother said something about this clip, and about google giving navigation directions. Of course, I responded with “Hey google, can edirectoree too na 'oto?”
A few minutes later, my brother responds with “Just told about what we were saying about the hotel name. When I recited your Hey google comment, my phone went and did a search for “Can the Auto””
Slightly related to Google spying, upon my warm welcome of Windows updates this morning, I decided to give the new Chromedge a try. The transition was literally seamless, with my whole Chrome setup imported immediately and the whole experience feeling like a slightly more modern, faster, lighter weight Chrome. I’m going to keep using it today to see how I feel about it, but so far I’m giving the nod to Microsoft’s browser for the first time in decades.
Windows 10 literally records your every move, and ships everything out the cable via their telemetry services. Now you’re adding their new Edge browser. Microsoft is no less bad with spying, if you’re using Windows 10.
…hence the “slightly related to Google spying”. It was more meant to be I’m substituting “Google Chrome” with “Microsoft Edge”. I know they all spy on me and I do opt out of sharing usage analytics wherever possible, but I honestly don’t do stuff on a PC that I’d be ashamed of surfacing anywhere. I prefer targeted ads, as I hate being presented with stuff I honestly have no interest in viewing or buying. So if sharing at least SOME information means that ads are all the more relevant to me, then so be it.